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Miroslav Klose of Germany celebrates scoring against England. ((Michael Regan/Getty Images))

Germany defeated England 4-1 in a Round of 16 match at the FIFA World Cup on Sunday in Bloemfontein, South Africa, in a game marked by one of the most controversial moments in tournament history.

Thomas Mueller scored twice and Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski both found the net for the Germans, while Matthew Upson replied for England. But the main talking point will be the Frank Lampard goal for the English that was incorrectly disallowed.

To watch the England non-goal, CLICK HERE.

To watch the match highlights, CLICK HERE. To watch the full match, CLICK HERE.

Main storyline

It took Germany 44 years to earn revenge on England, but at what cost to the sport?

In what will go down as one of the most contentious plays in World Cup history, Lampard's shot from outside the box in the 38th minute smacked the crossbar before bouncing a full yard behind the goal-line and then into the hands of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Down 2-0, England valiantly fought back and Lampard's strike had the Three Lions roaring again and should have sent the game into the halftime break tied 2-2. But Uruguay referee Jorge Larrionda waved play on, denying England a clear goal.

 

'I think that FIFA should introduce the technology after this World Cup because big games can turn on these moments. Going in with 2-2 at halftime would have made the match a lot more difficult for us' —Germany captain Philipp Lahm told CBCSports.ca

One can only hope that this debacle will finally persuade FIFA president Sepp Blatter, one of the game's staunchest opponents of video replay, to introduce goal-line technology and restore the sport's integrity.

A statement from soccer's world governing body after the game simply said: "FIFA will not make any comment on the decisions of the referee on the field of play."

England has every right to feel aggrieved about the call but not about the final result. The true sign of a team's character and greatness is its ability to rise to the occasion and overcome adversity, not shrink before it. The English had more than enough time to score a second goal and force extra time, but they were clearly second-best on the day against a German side oozing with attacking class.

The Germans ripped the English defence to shreds, with Klose and Podolski making John Terry and Matthew Upson look like schoolboy defenders.

Once again, striker Wayne Rooney and midfielders Steven Gerrard and Lampard, touted among the best players in the world at their respective positions, were mere spectators, unable to live up to their inflated reputations.

The England post-mortem might lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of match officials, but fundamental problems in the English side led to their departure from this tournament, foremost among them being the team's inability to retain possession.

Surely now, the myth of England's "Golden Generation" of Premiership players has been shattered.

1966 revisited

Forty-four years ago, Geoff Hurst's controversial goal helped England beat Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

On Sunday, Frank Lampard's goal for England was controversially ruled out against the victorious Germans.

As for the Germans, you can hardly blame them if they feel justice has finally been served after suffering a controversial 4-2 loss to England in the 1966 World Cup final.

On that fateful day in London's Wembley Stadium, England forward Geoff Hurst belted a furious right-footed shot that blazed past German goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski, hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced down on the goal-line.

English players raised their hands in celebration, so confident it was a goal. The man whose opinion mattered most, Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst, was not. A flock of protesting German players surrounded Dienst, who then marched to the sidelines towards linesman Tofik Bakhramov of Azerbaijan to confer whether or not the entire ball crossed the goal-line.

As 400 million television viewers worldwide waited for the decision, Bakhramov, without hesitation, pointed his flag toward the centre circle on the field, signalling a goal. It was 3-2 for England as the tense Wembley crowd erupted into delirious rapture.

England went on to win 4-2 and were deserved champions, but the outcome still rankles in Germany to this day, as Hurst's shot clearly did not cross the goal-line. Generations of English fans have trotted out the tired and silly argument that England won by two goals that day, so Hurst's non-goal wasn't an issue.

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But that misses the point — Hurst's goal swung the momentum in England's favour and changed the complexion of the game, forcing the Germans to open up in search of an equalizer, and leaving them susceptible at the back.

Would the Germans have done so had the game remained tied 2-2? It's doubtful.

Regardless, much like the '66 final, this game will enter the annals of World Cup history as a dramatic and enthralling classic, and despite the controversy, the better team emerged victorious.

What this result means

Germany moves to the quarter-finals to meet Argentina. England has been eliminated.

The winning goal

Germany's goal in the 32nd minute was a product of a flowing passing move, which finished with Mueller delivering a perfect ball for Podolski, who slotted a perfect left-footed shot through the legs of England goalkeeper David James and in at the far post.

The turning point

England came out strong at the start of the second half and looked as though it would equalize. But Mueller's second goal of the game in the 67th minute deflated the English and put the game beyond their reach.

World Cup Post-game Show

Log on to CBCSports.ca and tune in to Bold (CBC's digital channel) every day at 4:30 pm ET for the CBC World Cup Post-game Show presented by CIBC for a daily wrap-up of the day's news, with match highlights and analysis.

If you can't catch the show live, you can watch the show on-demand by CLICKING HERE.

Man of the match

Klose was brilliant for Germany, scoring his 12th career World Cup goal in the 20th minute, allowing him to move into a tie for fourth place on the all-time list with Pele and just three goals behind leader Ronaldo of Brazil.

The German perspective

"We were aggressive from the first minute and it was a deserved victory. Our target was to reach the semifinals and that's what we want to achieve." — Miroslav Klose, forward

The English perspective

"It [the Lampard goal] was one of the most important things in the game. The goal was very important. We could have played a different style. We made some mistakes when they played the counterattack. The referee made bigger mistakes." — Fabio Capello, coach